Guest blogger Robert has been keeping an eye on the Wigram Rd / Magdala Pl overbridge works:
This project is now cruising toward the finish line after 18 months of construction work to date. The expected month of completion is October 2016. Anyone having recently ridden the detour route between each interrupted end of the Southern Motorway Cycle Path, or having driven along the Southern Motorway itself will be well aware of the progress that has been made.
Essentially it involves the construction of a bridge connecting Wigram Road with Magdala Place, enabling vehicles (and bikes) to fly over the busy Curletts Road arterial and continue along Birmingham Drive, creating a minor arterial route into Addington and Riccarton facilitating traffic flow from the growth developments of Wigram and Awatea Road areas.
From a cycling perspective, finally the Southern Motorway Pathway will be separated all the way from Barrington Street to Halswell Junction Road, a distance of over 7km. At present, the journey requires a less-than-pleasant foray onto busy roads, from Annex Road and Birmingham Drive junction, along Lunns Road and Curletts Road (footpath) to Parkhouse Road, then Treffers and Wigram Roads to join the Motorway pathway at the Agricultural Park underpass. This is heavy-vehicle country and no fun on a bike. The deviated journey at present is 2.4 km and take 10 minutes or so. Once completed, this separated/shared path of around 3 metres width will be under 1 km, taking hopefully less than 5 minutes.
Whilst the construction detour is tedious, it has been well signed. A rough and ready footpath adaptation at Treffers Road allows the intersection with Parkhouse Road to be safely-ish negotiated. Interesting that the signage at the Wigram Road end is already in place and ready to go.
Conversely on the eastern side, the new traffic light controlled intersection at Annex Road, Magdala Road and Birmingham Drive is in use. It is big, bold and confusing for most. There is no signage, nor green paint for guidance (still to come – Ed), so pedal carefully. Compared however to the previous squeeze, it is promising, and will be great once everyone has settled in.
The addition of this section into the Little River Link CCC Major Cycleway route completes another piece of the jigsaw. Once the Moorhouse Avenue to Barrington Street section is executed (sneaking around Church Square in Addington, through Spreydon to the Southern Motorway path and an upgrade of Marylands Reserve pathway) it will be almost possible some time in 2017 to ride a bike on a city limits quality surface sans traffic from the Canterbury Museum all the way to the Little River Cafe…
Beat that: Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay and Nelson…
Importantly too, consider how easy it is going to be to commute (by bike, e-bike, motorised skateboard , or mobility scooter) from the city south west to the CBD. No parking cost or petrol price worries.
Accessibility city, Here We Come.
Are you looking forward to the new Wigram/Magdala overbridge?